: The water is at 6,022 feet and increasing. The water temperature is about 50 degrees F in the canyon, or Utah region of the reservoir. All launches are open. Lucerne Valley Marina is sponsoring the Flaming Gorge Fish Derby May 20 and 21. Learn the details at the Flaming Gorge Fish Derby website.
Kokanee salmon: Anglers report catching kokanee! Fishing is fair to good. Now that water temperatures have warmed into the 50s, fishing is starting to pick up consistently. Successful anglers are catching most kokanee close to the surface, 15 feet or shallower. Troll planer boards to get the lure out away from the boat for boat-shy fish. If you don't have planer boards, try a longer set-back, 100 to 200 feet behind the boat. As the water warms, kokanee will move deeper and start showing up on the fish finder. Smaller spoons (#1 Needlefish, Vipers), squids (pink, orange) and dodgers (silver/pink or orange) have been working best. Try tipping lures with Gulp maggots, mealworms or corn.
Rainbow trout: Fishing is fair to good. You might catch some cutthroat trout, too. In the canyon, fishing is good along the shore using bait or casting small jigs and spinners. Marabou jigs in earth tone colors are a good option in shallow or deep water. If fishing from a boat, try casting jigs near creek inlets and shallow points. If fishing from shore, cast parallel to the shoreline, let the bait sink some and slowly retrieve with occasional jigging strokes. When you catch one, there are likely more. Pinch down the barbs for quick release. Stocking will commence the week before Memorial Day.
Lake trout: Fishing is fair to good. Recent reports have been spotty. Anglers are catching smaller lake trout (pups) while trolling for kokanee salmon or while jigging in 40 to 70 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. Fish may be located suspended above the bottom using a sonar or fish finder. Try dropping a white or glow-n-the-dark tube jig or jigging spoon tipped with sucker/chub meat. Gulp minnows also work well. Also try trolling crankbaits behind planer boards along the shoreline, early and late in the day.
Smallmouth bass: Fishing is finally picking up. Jerk baits work great for groggy bass this time of year. Use a jerk-jerk-pause retrieve, varying the length of the pause. Good colors include, rainbow trout, pink and silver. Jigs mimicking crayfish are also a great option. Expect the afternoon bite to be best, especially on sunlit, rocky shoreline.
Burbot: Fishing is fair. Boaters should target burbot on rocky points and shorelines in 10 to 40 feet of water. The best activity is at night using glow-in-the-dark lures like Yamamoto grubs, Radical Glow tubes, Maniac Cutterbugs and Northland Buckshot spoons. Tip the lure with sucker/chub meat, recharge glow frequently and jig the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. (05-16-17)
Green River below Flaming Gorge dam: Due to heavy snowpack in the upper Green River drainage, flows are currently 6,600 cfs but will increase to 8,600 cfs again at the end of May. Flows can change daily, so check out current releases from Flaming Gorge Dam. Fishing is still good during high flows. Streamer fishing has been good, especially in slow water (eddies). Nymph fishing has also been productive using scuds, soft hackles, BWO emergers, San Juan worms and juju midges. Set your nymph rig deep, 8 to 12 feet, and target seams of fast and slow water. Midge and mayfly hatches are tapering off, but have been best just above Little Hole in the afternoons. Look for rising fish in eddies and hugging the bank. A few cicadas have been reported on the A section as well as on Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Spin fishing is usually good. Marabou jigs or tube jigs in earth tones and whites are a good option in shallow or deep water. Brightly colored spoons, spinners and crankbaits may also entice fish. Pinch down the barbs for quick release. (05-16-17)